Filed with the SEC from June 14 to June 20:
Value-focused hedge fund Wynnefield Capital Management said that it is seeking to fill a vacant spot on the board of Landec, which makes polymer products.
Wynnefield said that it had met with Landec management on June 4 and recommended a nominee to fill the vacancy created as a result of the resignation of Richard S. Schneider as a director last Oct. 13.
Landec Corporation and its subsidiaries (â€śLandecâ€ť or the â€śCompanyâ€ť) design, develop, manufacture and sell polymer products for food and agricultural products, medical devices and licensed partner applications that incorporate Landecâ€™s patented polymer technologies. The Company has two proprietary polymer technology platforms: 1) IntelimerÂ® polymers, and 2) hyaluronan (â€śHAâ€ť) biopolymers. The Companyâ€™s HA biopolymers are proprietary in that they are specially formulated for specific customers to meet strict regulatory requirements. The Companyâ€™s polymer technologies, along with its customer relationships and trade names, are the foundation and a key differentiating advantage upon which Landec has built its business.
Following the acquisition of Lifecore Biomedical, Inc. (â€śLifecoreâ€ť) on April 30, 2010, Landec has four core businesses â€“ Food Products Technology, Food Export, Hyaluronan-based Biomaterials and Technology Licensing, each of which is described below. Financial information concerning the industry segments for which the Company reported its operations during fiscal years 2009, 2010 and 2011 is summarized in Note 14 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
Our wholly-owned subsidiary, Apio, Inc. (â€śApioâ€ť), operates our Food Products Technology business, which combines our proprietary food packaging technology with the capabilities of a large national food supplier and value-added produce processor. In Apioâ€™s value-added operations, produce is processed by trimming, washing, mixing, and packaging into bags and trays that incorporate Landecâ€™s BreatheWay Â® membrane technology. The BreatheWay membrane increases shelf life and reduces shrink (waste) for retailers and, for certain products, eliminates the need for ice during the distribution cycle and helps to ensure that consumers receive fresh produce by the time the product makes its way through the supply chain. Apio also licenses the BreatheWay technology to partners such as Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (â€śChiquitaâ€ť) for packaging and distribution of bananas and avocados and to Windset Farms (â€śWindsetâ€ť) for packaging of greenhouse grown cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes.
Apio also operates the Food Export business through its subsidiary, Cal Ex Trading Company (â€śCal-Exâ€ť). The Export business purchases and sells whole fruit and vegetable products to predominantly Asian markets.
Our wholly-owned subsidiary, Lifecore Biomedical, Inc. (â€śLifecoreâ€ť), operates our Hyaluronan-based Biomaterials business and is principally involved in the development and manufacture of products utilizing hyaluronan, a naturally occurring polysaccharide that is widely distributed in the extracellular matrix of connective tissues in animals and humans. Lifecoreâ€™s products are primarily sold to three medical areas: (1) Ophthalmic, (2) Orthopedic and (3) Veterinary. Lifecore also supplies hyaluronan to customers pursuing other medical applications, such as aesthetic surgery, medical device coatings, tissue engineering and pharmaceuticals. Lifecore leverages its fermentation process to manufacture premium, pharmaceutical-grade hyaluronan, and uses its aseptic filling capabilities to also deliver proprietary HA finished goods to its customers. Lifecore also manufactures and sells it own HA-based finished goods. Lifecore is known in the medical segments as a premium supplier of HA. Its name recognition allows Lifecore to acquire new customers and sell new products with only a small targeted marketing or sales capability.
Landecâ€™s Technology Licensing business develops proprietary polymer technologies and applies them in a wide range of applications including seed coatings and treatments, temperature indicators, controlled release systems for drug delivery, pressure sensitive adhesives and personal care products. These applications are commercialized through partnerships with third parties resulting in licensing and royalty revenues, as well as reimbursed R&D funding. For example, Monsanto Company (â€śMonsantoâ€ť) has an exclusive license to use our IntellicoatÂ® seed coating technology for certain seed treatment applications, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. (â€śAir Productsâ€ť) has an exclusive license to use our Intelimer polymers for personal care products and Nitta Corporation (â€śNittaâ€ť) licenses Landecâ€™s proprietary pressure sensitive adhesives for use in the manufacture of electronic components by their customers.
Landec was incorporated in California on October 31, 1986 and reincorporated as a Delaware corporation on November 6, 2008. Our common stock is listed on The NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol â€śLNDCâ€ť.
Landec has two polymer technology platforms. The first platform is its Intelimer polymer. With the acquisition of Lifecore, Landec added its second polymer technology platform.
A) Intelimer Polymers
The Intelimer polymer is a crystalline, hydrophobic polymer that has unique characteristics and benefits. The first unique feature of this polymer system is the way that it uses a temperature switch to control and modulate properties such as viscosity, permeability and adhesion when varying the materialsâ€™ temperature above and below the temperature switch. The sharp temperature switch is adjustable between 0-100 Â° C. For instance, Intelimer polymers can change within the range of one or two degrees Celsius from a non-adhesive state to a highly tacky, adhesive state; from an impermeable state to a highly permeable state; or from a solid state to a viscous liquid state. These abrupt changes can be irreversible or repeatedly reversible and can be tailored by Landec to occur at specific temperatures, thereby offering substantial competitive advantages in the Company's target markets.
A second unique feature of the Intelimer polymer materials is its unique controlled release properties. The polymer is able to deliver active ingredients with low or no burst, with a sustained release over periods of time. Finally, Intelimer polymers can be designed to contain up to 80% renewable materials from components of natural raw materials such as rapeseed oil, palm oil or coconut oil, and can be supplied in biocompatible and bioerodible forms.
Polymers are important and versatile materials found in many of the products of modern life. Certain polymers, such as cellulose and natural rubber, occur in nature. Man-made or synthetic polymers include nylon fibers used in carpeting and clothing, coatings used in paints and finishes, plastics such as polyethylene, and elastomers used in automobile tires and latex gloves. Historically, synthetic polymers have been designed and developed primarily for improved mechanical and thermal properties, such as strength and the ability to withstand high temperatures. Improvements in these and other properties and the ease of manufacturing synthetic polymers have allowed these materials to replace wood, metal and natural fibers in many applications over the last 50 years. More recently, scientists have focused their efforts on identifying and developing sophisticated polymers with novel properties for a variety of commercial and industrial applications.
Landec's Intelimer polymers are a proprietary class of synthetic polymeric materials that respond to temperature changes in a controllable, predictable way. Typically, polymers gradually change in adhesion, permeability and viscosity over broad temperature ranges. Landec's Intelimer materials, in contrast, can be designed to exhibit abrupt changes in permeability, adhesion and/or viscosity over temperature ranges as narrow as 1 Â° C to 2 Â° C. These changes can be designed to occur at relatively low temperatures (0 Â° C to 100 Â° C) that are relatively easy to maintain in industrial and commercial environments. Figure 1 illustrates the effect of temperature on Intelimer materials as compared to typical polymers.
Hyaluronan is a non-crystalline, hydrophilic polymer that exists naturally within the human body, most notably within the aqueous humor of the eye, synovial fluid, skin and umbilical cord. The viscoelastic properties and water solubility of HA make it ideal for medicinal applications where lubricity and protection are critical. Due to its widespread presence in tissues, its critical role in normal physiology, and its high degree of biocompatibility, the Company believes that hyaluronan will continue to be used for an increasing variety of medical applications.
Hyaluronan can be produced in two ways, either through bacterial fermentation or through extraction from rooster combs. Lifecore produces HA only from fermentation, using an extremely efficient microbial fermentation process and a highly effective purification operation.
Hyaluronan was first demonstrated to have commercial medical utility as a viscoelastic solution in cataract
surgery. In this application, it is used for maintaining the shape of the anterior chamber and protecting corneal tissue during the removal and implantation of intraocular lenses. The first ophthalmic hyaluronan product, produced by extraction from rooster comb tissue, became commercially available in the United States in 1981. Hyaluronan-based products, produced either by rooster comb extraction or by fermentation processes such as Lifecoreâ€™s, have since gained widespread acceptance in ophthalmology and are currently used in the majority of cataract extraction procedures in the world. Lifecoreâ€™s hyaluronan is also used as an orthopedic carrier vehicle for allogeneic freeze-dried demineralized bone as the active component of devices to treat the symptoms of osteoarthritis, and as a formulation component to provide increased lubricity to medical devices. Lifecoreâ€™s hyaluronan has also been utilized in veterinary drug applications to treat traumatic arthritis.
IntelimerÂ®, LandecÂ®, Apioâ„˘, Eat SmartÂ®, BreatheWayÂ®, Clearly Freshâ„˘, IntellicoatÂ®, Early PlantÂ®, Pollinator PlusÂ®, RelayÂ® Cropping, LifecoreÂ®, Revitalureâ„˘, LUROCOAT Â® and Ortholureâ„˘ are trademarks or registered trademarks and trade names of the Company in the United States and other countries. This Annual Report on Form 10-K also refers to the trademarks of other companies.
Food Products Technology Business
The Company began marketing its proprietary Intelimer-based BreatheWay membranes in 1996 for use in the fresh-cut produce packaging market, historically one of the fastest growing segments in the food industry. Landecâ€™s proprietary BreatheWay packaging technology is used to package fresh-cut or whole produce, the result is a convenient, ready-to-eat finished product that achieves increased shelf life and reduced shrink (waste) without the need for ice during the distribution cycle. These products are referred to as â€śvalue-addedâ€ť products. In 1999, the Company acquired Apio, its then largest customer in the Food Products Technology business and one of the nationâ€™s leading marketers and packers of produce and specialty packaged fresh-cut vegetables. Apio utilizes a state-of-the-art fresh-cut processing facility and year-round access to quality vegetable sourcing to produce products which Apio distributes to top U.S. retail grocery chains, major club stores and foodservice customers. The Companyâ€™s proprietary BreatheWay packaging business has been combined with Apio into a subsidiary that retains the Apio name. This vertical integration within the Food Products Technology business gives Landec direct access to the large and growing fresh-cut and whole produce market.
The Technology: BreatheWay Membranes
Certain types of fresh-cut and whole produce can spoil or discolor rapidly when packaged in conventional packaging materials and, therefore, are limited in their ability to be distributed broadly to markets. The Companyâ€™s proprietary BreatheWay packaging technology extends the shelf life and quality of fresh-cut and whole produce.
Fresh-cut produce is cut, washed, and packaged in a form that is ready to use by the consumer and is thus typically sold at premium price levels compared to unpackaged produce. The total U.S. fresh produce market is estimated to be $100 billion to $120 billion. Of this, U.S. retail sales of fresh-cut produce is estimated to comprise 10% of the fresh produce market.
Although fresh-cut produce companies have had success in the salad market, the industry has been slower to diversify into other fresh-cut vegetables or fruits because of limitations in film and plastic tray materials used to package these products. After harvesting, vegetables and fruit continue to respire, consuming oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide. Too much or too little oxygen can result in premature spoilage and decay. Conventional packaging films used today, such as polyethylene and polypropylene, can be made with modest permeability to oxygen and carbon dioxide, but often do not provide the optimal atmosphere for the produce packaged. Shortcomings of conventional packaging materials have not significantly hindered the growth in the fresh-cut salad market because lettuce, unlike many vegetables and fruit, has low respiration requirements.
The respiration rate of produce varies from vegetable to vegetable and from fruit to fruit. To achieve optimal product performance, each fruit or vegetable requires its own unique package atmosphere conditions. The challenge facing the industry is to develop packaging that meets the highly variable needs that each product requires in order to achieve value creating performance. The Company believes that its BreatheWay packaging technology possesses all of the critical functionalities required to serve this diverse market. In creating a product package, a BreatheWay membrane is applied over a small cutout section or an aperture of a flexible film bag or plastic tray. This highly permeable â€świndowâ€ť acts as the mechanism to provide the majority of the gas transmission requirements for the entire package. These membranes are designed to provide three principal benefits:
High Permeability. Landec's BreatheWay packaging technology is designed to permit transmission of oxygen and carbon dioxide at 300 to 1,000 times the rate of conventional packaging films. The Company believes that these higher permeability levels will facilitate the packaging diversity required to market many types of fresh-cut and whole produce in many package sizes and configurations.
Ability to Adjust Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide Permeability. BreatheWay packaging can be tailored with carbon dioxide to oxygen transfer ratios ranging from 1.0 to 12.0 and selectively transmit oxygen and carbon dioxide at optimum rates to sustain the quality and shelf life of packaged produce. Other high permeability packaging materials, such as micro-perforated films cannot differentially control carbon dioxide permeability resulting in sub-optimal package atmosphere conditions for many produce products.
Temperature Responsiveness. Landec has developed breathable membranes that can be designed to increase or decrease permeability in response to environmental temperature changes. The Company has developed packaging that responds to higher oxygen requirements at elevated temperatures but is also reversible, and returns to its original state as temperatures decline. As the respiration rate of fresh produce also increases with temperature, the BreatheWay membraneâ€™s temperature responsiveness allows packages to compensate for the change in produce respiration by automatically adjusting gas permeation rates. By doing so, detrimental package atmosphere conditions are avoided and improved quality is maintained through the distribution chain.
The Company believes that the growth of the fresh-cut produce market has been driven by consumer demand and the willingness to pay for convenience, freshness, uniform quality, and safety delivered to the point of sale. Landec believes that growth of the overall produce market will be driven by the increasing demand for the convenience and nutrition of fresh-cut produce. This demand will in turn require packaging that facilitates the quality and shelf life of produce transported to fresh-cut distributors in bulk and pallet quantities. The Company thinks that in the future its BreatheWay packaging technology will be useful for packaging a diverse variety of fresh-cut and whole produce products. Potential opportunities for using Landecâ€™s technology outside of the produce market exist in cut flowers and in other respiring products.
Landec is working with leaders in club stores and retail grocery chains. The Company thinks it will have growth opportunities for the next several years through new customers and products in the United States, expansion of its existing customer relationships, and through export and shipments of specialty packaged produce.
Landec manufactures its BreatheWay packaging through selected qualified contract manufacturers. In addition to using BreatheWay packaging for its value-added produce business, the Company markets and sells BreatheWay packaging directly to food distributors.
The Business: Food Products Technology
Our Food Products Technology business, which operates through our Apio subsidiary, had revenues of approximately $176 million for the fiscal year ended May 29, 2011, $175 million for the fiscal year ended May 30, 2010 and $168 million for the fiscal year ended May 31, 2009.
Based in Guadalupe, California, Apioâ€™s primary business is fresh-cut and whole value-added products packaged in our proprietary BreatheWay packaging. The fresh-cut value-added products business markets a variety of fresh-cut and whole vegetables to the top retail grocery chains and club stores. During the fiscal year ended May 29, 2011, Apio shipped nearly sixteen million cartons of produce to leading supermarket retailers, wholesalers, food service suppliers and club stores throughout North America, primarily in the United States.
Ray F. Stewart, Ph.D. is the founder of the Company and has served as Vice President and a director since the Company's inception in 1986. Since November 1996 he has also served as Senior Vice President of Intellicoat Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company. Dr. Stewart has over 16 years of experience in the materials industry. Prior to founding Landec, Dr. Stewart worked at Raychem Corporation. While at Raychem Corporation from 1979 to 1986, Dr. Stewart managed development efforts in the areas of adhesives, plastic electrodes, sensors and synthetic polymer chemistry, and led the development and commercialization of several new product lines. Dr. Stewart received a B.S. from Northern Arizona University and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Minnesota.
Stephen E. Halprin has served as a director since April 1988. Since 1971, Mr. Halprin has been a general partner of OSCCO Ventures. Mr. Halprin has been an active member of the venture community since 1968, and is a director of a number of technology based companies. Mr. Halprin received a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.B.A. from Stanford University.
Richard S. Schneider, Ph.D. has served as a director since September 1991. Since October 1990, Dr. Schneider has been a general partner of Domain Associates. Dr. Schneider has over 25 years of product development experience in the fields of medical devices and biotechnology. Prior to his pursuing a career in venture capital, Dr. Schneider was Vice President of Product Development at Syva/Syntex Corporation and President of Biomedical Consulting Associates. He is also a director of a number of private life science companies and is a member of the Board of Directors of Imagyn Medical, Inc. and Fusion Medical Technologies, Inc. Dr. Schneider received a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
MANAGEMENT DISCUSSION FROM LATEST 10K
Since its inception in October 1986, the Company has been engaged in the research and development of its Intelimer technology and related products. The Company has launched four product lines from this core development â€“ QuickCast â„˘ splints and casts in April 1994, which was subsequently sold to Bissell Healthcare Corporation in August 1997; BreatheWay packaging technology for the fresh-cut and whole produce packaging market in September 1995; Intelimer Polymer Systems that includes polymer materials for various industrial applications in June 1997 and for personal care applications in November 2003; and Intellicoat coated corn seeds in the Fall of 1999. In addition, on April 30, 2010, the Company acquired Lifecore which develops and manufactures products utilizing hyaluronan, a naturally occurring polysaccharide that is widely distributed in the extracellular matrix of connective tissues in both animals and humans.
With the acquisition of Lifecore, Landec has four core businesses â€“ Food Products Technology, Food Export, Hyaluronan-based Biomaterials and Technology Licensing. The Food Products Technology segment combines the Companyâ€™s Intelimer packaging technology with Apioâ€™s fresh-cut and whole produce business. The Food Export business is operated through Apioâ€™s Cal-Ex export company which purchases and sells whole fruit and vegetable products to predominantly Asian markets. The Hyaluronan-based Biomaterials business sells products utilizing hyaluronan in the ophthalmic, orthopedic and veterinary segments and also supplies hyaluronan to customers pursuing other medical applications, such as aesthetic surgery, medical device coatings, tissue engineering and pharmaceuticals. The Technology Licensing business includes our proprietary Intellicoat seed coating technology in which certain fields of application have been licensed to Monsanto and our Intelimer polymer business that licenses and/or supplies products to companies such as Air Products and Nitta. See "Business - Description of Core Business".
From inception through May 29, 2011, the Companyâ€™s retained earnings were $17.1 million. The Company may incur losses in the future. The amount of future net profits, if any, is uncertain and there can be no assurance that the Company will be able to sustain profitability in future years.
Critical Accounting Policies and Use of Estimates
Use of Estimates
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles requires management to make certain estimates and judgments that affect the amounts reported in the financial statements and accompanying notes. The accounting estimates that require managementâ€™s most significant, difficult and subjective judgments include revenue recognition; sales returns and allowances; recognition and measurement of current and deferred income tax assets and liabilities; the assessment of recoverability of long-lived assets; the valuation of intangible assets and inventory; the valuation and nature of impairments of investments; and the valuation and recognition of stock-based compensation.
These estimates involve the consideration of complex factors and require management to make judgments. The analysis of historical and future trends can require extended periods of time to resolve, and are subject to change from period to period. The actual results may differ from managementâ€™s estimates.
Allowance for Doubtful Accounts
The Company maintains allowances for doubtful accounts for estimated losses resulting from the inability of its customers to make required payments. The allowance for doubtful accounts is based on review of the overall condition of accounts receivable balances and review of significant past due accounts. If the financial condition of the Companyâ€™s customers were to deteriorate, resulting in an impairment of their ability to make payments, additional allowances may be required. Bad debt losses are partially mitigated due to the fact that the Companyâ€™s customers are predominantly large financially low-risk national and international companies.
Inventories are stated at the lower of cost or market. If the cost of the inventories exceeds their expected market value, provisions are recorded currently for the difference between the cost and the market value. These provisions are determined based on specific identification for unusable inventory and an additional reserve, based on historical losses, for inventory currently considered to be usable.
Revenue from product sales is recognized when there is persuasive evidence that an arrangement exists, title has transferred, the price is fixed and determinable, and collectibility is reasonably assured. Allowances are established for estimated uncollectible amounts, product returns, and discounts based on specific identification and historical losses.
The Company takes title to all produce it trades and/or packages, and therefore, records revenues and cost of sales at gross amounts in the Consolidated Statements of Income .
Licensing revenue is recognized in accordance with prevailing accounting guidance. Initial license fees are deferred and amortized to revenue over the period of the agreement when a contract exists, the fee is fixed and determinable, and collectibility is reasonably assured. Noncancellable, nonrefundable license fees are recognized over the period of the agreement, including those governing research and development activities and any related supply agreement entered into concurrently with the license when the risk associated with commercialization of a product is non-substantive at the outset of the arrangement.
Contract revenue for research and development (R&D) is recorded as earned, based on the performance requirements of the contract. Non-refundable contract fees for which no further performance obligations exist, and there is no continuing involvement by the Company, are recognized on the earlier of when the payments are received or when collection is assured.
Goodwill and Other Intangibles
The Companyâ€™s intangible assets are comprised of customer relationships with an estimated useful life of twelve years and trademarks/trade names and goodwill with indefinite lives (collectively, â€śintangible assetsâ€ť), which the Company recognized in accordance with accounting guidance (i) upon the acquisition of Lifecore in April 2010, our HA-based Biomaterials reporting unit, (ii) upon the acquisition of Apio in December 1999, which consists of our Food Products Technology and Food Export reporting units and (iii) from the repurchase of all non controlling interests in the common stock of Landec Ag in December 2006. Accounting guidance defines goodwill as â€śthe excess of the cost of an acquired entity over the net of the estimated fair values of the assets acquired and the liabilities assumed at date of acquisition.â€ť All intangible assets, including goodwill, associated with the acquisitions of Lifecore and Apio were allocated to our HA-based Biomaterials reporting unit and our Food Products Technology reporting unit, respectively, pursuant to accounting guidance based upon the allocation of assets and liabilities acquired and consideration paid for each reporting unit. The consideration paid for the Food Export reporting unit approximated its fair market value at the time of acquisition, and therefore, no intangible assets were recorded in connection with the Companyâ€™s acquisition of this reporting unit. Goodwill associated with the Technology Licensing reporting unit consists entirely of goodwill resulting from the repurchase of the Landec Ag non controlling interests. As of May 29, 2011, the HA-based Biomaterials reporting unit had $13.9 million of goodwill and the Food Products Technology reporting unit had $22.6 million of goodwill. As described below, the $4.8 million of goodwill in the Technology Licensing reporting unit was written off as of May 29, 2011.
The Company tests its intangible assets for impairment at least annually, in accordance with accounting guidance. When evaluating indefinite-lived intangible assets for impairment, accounting guidance requires the Company to compare the fair value of the asset to its carrying value to determine if there is an impairment loss. When evaluating goodwill for impairment, accounting guidance requires the Company to first compare the fair value of the reporting unit to its carrying value to determine if there is an impairment loss. If the fair value of the reporting unit exceeds its carrying value, goodwill is not considered impaired; thus application of the second step of the two-step approach under accounting guidance is not required. Application of the intangible assets impairment tests requires significant judgment by management, including identification of reporting units, assignment of assets and liabilities to reporting units, assignment of intangible assets to reporting units, and the determination of the fair value of each indefinite-lived intangible asset and reporting unit based upon projections of future net cash flows, discount rates and market multiples, which judgments and projections are inherently uncertain.
Property, plant and equipment and finite-lived intangible assets are reviewed for possible impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances occur that indicate that the carrying amount of an asset (or asset group) may not be recoverable. The Companyâ€™s impairment review requires significant management judgment including estimating the future success of product lines, future sales volumes, revenue and expense growth rates, alternative uses for the assets and estimated proceeds from the disposal of the assets. The Company conducts quarterly reviews of idle and underutilized equipment, and reviews business plans for possible impairment indicators. Impairment occurs when the carrying amount of the asset (or asset group) exceeds its estimated future undiscounted cash flows and the impairment is viewed as other than temporary. When impairment is indicated, an impairment charge is recorded for the difference between the assetâ€™s book value and its estimated fair value. Depending on the asset, estimated fair value may be determined either by use of a discounted cash flow model or by reference to estimated selling values of assets in similar condition. The use of different assumptions would increase or decrease the estimated fair value of assets and would increase or decrease any impairment measurement.
The Company tested its indefinite-lived intangible assets and goodwill for impairment as of July 24, 2011 and determined that no adjustments to the carrying values of the intangible assets were necessary as of that date for its HA-based Biomaterials and Food Products Technology reporting units. For the Technology Licensing reporting unit during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2011 it became apparent to the Company that acceptable biological test results are probably not achievable in the four months left in the agreement before Monsanto has to make its purchase option decision (see Note 4 to the Consolidated Financial Statements). The uncertainty related to whether Monsanto will exercise its purchase option for the licensed fields of technology, and the fact that Landec Ag is projected to be unprofitable for several years absent any ongoing relationship with Monsanto, were the main factors contributing to the significant decrease in the estimated fair value of the Landec Ag business and as a result the goodwill of the Technology Licensing reporting unit was determined to be fully impaired as of May 29, 2011, and therefore, the Company wrote off the entire $4.8 million of goodwill associated with the Technology Licensing reporting unit. As of May 29, 2011, there were no impairment indicators identified by the Company in its analysis of impairment associated with the acquired indefinite-lived intangible assets. On a quarterly basis, the Company considers the need to update its most recent annual tests for possible impairment of its intangible assets, based on managementâ€™s assessment of changes in its business and other economic factors since the most recent annual evaluation. Such changes, if significant or material, could indicate a need to update the most recent annual tests for impairment of the intangible assets during the current period. The results of these tests could lead to write-downs of the carrying values of the intangible assets in the current period.
The Company uses the discounted cash flow (â€śDCFâ€ť) approach to develop an estimate of fair value. The DCF approach recognizes that current value is premised on the expected receipt of future economic benefits. Indications of value are developed by discounting projected future net cash flows to their present value at a rate that reflects both the current return requirements of the market and the risks inherent in the specific investment. The market approach was not used to value the Food Products Technology, Hyaluronan-based Biomaterials and Technology Licensing reporting units (the â€śReporting Unitsâ€ť) because insufficient market comparables exist to enable the Company to develop a reasonable fair value of its intangible assets due to the unique nature of each of the Companyâ€™s Reporting Units.
The DCF approach requires the Company to exercise judgment in determining future business and financial forecasts and the related estimates of future net cash flows. Future net cash flows depend primarily on future product sales, which are inherently difficult to predict. These net cash flows are discounted at a rate that reflects both the current return requirements of the market and the risks inherent in the specific investment.
The DCF associated with the Food Products Technology reporting unit is based on managementâ€™s five-year projection of revenues, gross profits and operating profits by fiscal year and assumes a 38% effective tax rate for each year. Management takes into account the historical trends of Apio and the industry categories in which Apio operates along with inflationary factors, current economic conditions, new product introductions, cost of sales, operating expenses, capital requirements and other relevant data when developing its projection. The estimated fair value of the Food Products Technology reporting units as of July 24, 2011 exceeded its book value by 55% and therefore, no intangible asset impairment was deemed to exist. For the test performed as of July 25, 2010, the projected cash flow from operations for determining the DCF for fiscal year 2011 was $16.6 million for the Food Products Technology reporting unit. The actual cash flow from operations for fiscal year 2011 was $12.1 million. The difference of $4.5 million was a result of increased produce sourcing costs due to weather-related produce shortages which the Company had no way of foreseeing.
The fair value of indefinite and finite-lived intangible assets associated with our acquisition of Lifecore on April 30, 2010, was determined using a DCF model based on managementâ€™s five-year projections of revenues, gross profits and operating profits by fiscal year and assumes a 38% effective tax rate for each year. Management takes into account the historical trends of Lifecore and the industry categories in which Lifecore operates along with inflationary factors, current economic conditions, new product introductions, cost of sales, operating expenses, capital requirements and other relevant data when developing its projection. The trade name intangible asset was valued using the relief from royalty valuation method and the customer relationship intangible asset was valued using the multi-period excess earnings method. The fair value of goodwill was calculated as the excess of consideration paid, including the fair value of contingent consideration under the terms of the purchase agreement, over the fair value of the tangible and intangible assets acquired less liabilities assumed. The Company updated its analysis of the fair value of the indefinite-lived intangible assets and goodwill as of its annual impairment analysis date, concluding that the fair value of the Hyaluronan-based Biomaterials reporting unit, as determined by the DCF approach, exceeded its book value by 71%, and therefore, no intangible asset impairment was deemed to exist. For the test performed as of July 25, 2010, the projected cash flow from operations for determining the DCF for fiscal year 2011 was $3.1million for the Hyaluronan-based Biomaterials reporting unit. The actual cash flow from operations for fiscal year 2011 was $9.0 million. The difference of $5.9 million is due to Lifecore exceeding its planned net income by $2.0 million and the change in working capital being much more favorable than planned.
The Company accounts for income taxes in accordance with accounting guidance which requires that deferred tax assets and liabilities be recognized using enacted tax rates for the effect of temporary differences between the book and tax bases of recorded assets and liabilities. The Company maintains valuation allowances when it is likely that all or a portion of a deferred tax asset will not be realized. Changes in valuation allowances from period to period are included in the Companyâ€™s income tax provision in the period of change. In determining whether a valuation allowance is warranted, the Company takes into account such factors as prior earnings history, expected future earnings, unsettled circumstances that, if unfavorably resolved, would adversely affect utilization of a deferred tax asset, carryback and carryforward periods, and tax strategies that could potentially enhance the likelihood of realization of a deferred tax asset. At May 29, 2011, the Company had a valuation allowance of $383,000 against deferred tax assets.
In addition to valuation allowances, the Company establishes accruals for certain tax contingencies, when, despite the belief that the Companyâ€™s tax return positions are fully supported, the Company believes that certain tax positions are likely to be challenged and that the Companyâ€™s positions may not be fully sustained. The tax-contingency accruals are adjusted in light of changing facts and circumstances, such as the progress of tax audits, case law and emerging legislation. The Company recognizes interest and penalties related to uncertain tax positions as a component of income tax expense. The Companyâ€™s effective tax rate includes the impact of tax-contingency accruals as considered appropriate by management.
A number of years may elapse before a particular matter, for which the Company has accrued, is audited and finally resolved. The number of years with open tax audits varies by jurisdiction. While it is often difficult to predict the final outcome or the timing of resolution of any particular tax matter, the Company believes its tax-contingency accruals are adequate to address known tax contingencies. Favorable resolution of such matters could be recognized as a reduction to the Companyâ€™s effective tax rate in the year of resolution. Unfavorable settlement of any particular issue could increase the effective tax rate. Any resolution of a tax issue may require the use of cash in the year of resolution. The Companyâ€™s tax-contingency accruals are presented in the balance sheet within accrued liabilities.
The Companyâ€™s stock-based awards include stock option grants and restricted stock unit awards (RSUs).
The Company adopted accounting guidance using the modified prospective transition method, which requires the application of the accounting standard to (i) all stock-based awards issued on or after May 29, 2006 and (ii) any outstanding stock-based awards that were issued but not vested as of May 29, 2006.
The estimated fair value for stock options, which determines the Companyâ€™s calculation of compensation expense, is based on the Black-Scholes pricing model. Upon the adoption of new accounting guidance, the Company changed its method of calculating and recognizing the fair value of stock-based compensation arrangements to the straight-line, single-option method. Compensation expense for all stock option and restricted stock unit awards granted prior to May 29, 2006 will continue to be recognized using the straight-line, multiple-option method. In addition, the new accounting guidance requires the estimation of the expected forfeitures of stock-based awards at the time of grant. As a result, the Company uses historical data to estimate pre-vesting forfeitures and records stock-based compensation expense only for those awards that are expected to vest and revises those estimates in subsequent periods if the actual forfeitures differ from the prior estimates.
MANAGEMENT DISCUSSION FOR LATEST QUARTER
Landec Corporation and its subsidiaries (â€śLandecâ€ť or the â€śCompanyâ€ť) design, develop, manufacture and sell polymer products for food and agricultural products, medical devices and licensed partner applications that incorporate Landecâ€™s patented polymer technologies. The Company has two proprietary polymer technology platforms: 1) IntelimerÂ® polymers, and 2) Hyaluronan (â€śHAâ€ť) biopolymers. The Companyâ€™s polymer technologies, along with its customer relationships and trade names, are the foundation, and a key differentiating advantage upon which Landec has built its business.
Landec has four core businesses â€“ Food Products Technology, Food Export, HA-based Biomaterials and Technology Licensing, each of which is described below.
Our wholly-owned subsidiary, Apio, operates our Food Products Technology business, combining Landecâ€™s proprietary food packaging technology with the capabilities of a large national food supplier and value-added produce processor. In Apioâ€™s value-added operations, produce is processed by trimming, washing, mixing, and packaging into bags and trays that incorporate Landecâ€™s BreatheWay Â® membrane technology. The BreatheWay membrane increases shelf life and reduces shrink (waste) for retailers and, for certain products, eliminates the need for ice during the distribution cycle and helps to ensure that consumers receive fresh produce by the time the product makes its way through the supply chain. Apio also licenses the BreatheWay technology to Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (â€śChiquitaâ€ť) for packaging and distribution of bananas and avocados and to Windset Farms for packaging of greenhouse grown cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes.
Apio also operates the Food Export business through its Cal Ex Trading Company (â€śCal-Exâ€ť). The Export business purchases and sells whole fruit and vegetable products to predominantly Asian markets.
Our wholly-owned subsidiary, Lifecore, operates our HA-based Biomaterials business and is principally involved in the development and manufacture of products utilizing hyaluronan, a naturally occurring polysaccharide that is widely distributed in the extracellular matrix of connective tissues in both animals and humans. Lifecoreâ€™s products are primarily sold to three medical segments: (1) Ophthalmic, (2) Orthopedic and (3) Veterinary. Lifecore also supplies hyaluronan to customers pursuing other medical applications, such as aesthetic surgery, medical device coatings, tissue engineering and pharmaceuticals. Lifecore leverages its fermentation process to manufacture premium, pharmaceutical-grade hyaluronan, and its aseptic filling capabilities to deliver HA finished goods to its customers. Lifecore also manufactures and sells its own HA-based finished goods. Lifecore is known in the medical segments as a premium supplier of HA. Its name recognition allows Lifecore to acquire new customers and sell new products with only a small marketing and sales capability.
Landecâ€™s Technology Licensing business develops proprietary polymer technologies and applies them in a wide range of applications including seed coatings and treatments, temperature indicators, controlled release systems, drug delivery, pressure sensitive adhesives and personal care products. These applications are commercialized through partnerships with third parties resulting in licensing and royalty revenues. For example, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. (â€śAir Productsâ€ť) has an exclusive license to our Intelimer polymers for personal care products and Nitta Corporation (â€śNittaâ€ť) licenses Landecâ€™s proprietary pressure sensitive adhesives for use in the manufacture of electronic components by their customers.
Expanded Product Line Using Technology: Apio, through the use of its BreatheWay packaging technology, is introducing new value-added products each year. These new product offerings range from various sizes of fresh-cut bagged products, to vegetable trays, to whole produce, to vegetable salads and snack packs. During the last twelve months, Apio has introduced 5 new products.
Apio established its Apio Packaging division in 2005 to advance the sales of BreatheWay packaging technology for shelf-life sensitive vegetables and fruit. The Companyâ€™s specialty packaging for case liner products extends the shelf life of certain produce commodities up to 50%. This shelf life extension can enable the utilization of alternative distribution strategies to gain efficiencies or reach new markets while maintaining product quality to the end customer.
Apio Packagingâ€™s first program has concentrated on bananas and was formally consummated when Apio entered into an agreement to supply Chiquita with its proprietary banana packaging technology. This global agreement applies to the ripening, conservation and shelf-life extension of bananas for most applications on an exclusive basis and for other applications on a non-exclusive basis. In addition, Apio provides Chiquita with ongoing research and development and process technology support for the BreatheWay membranes and bags, and technical service support throughout the customer chain in order to assist in the development and market acceptance of the technology.
Chiquita provides marketing, distribution and retail sales support for ChiquitaÂ® bananas sold worldwide in BreatheWay packaging. To maintain the exclusive license, Chiquita must meet quarterly minimum purchase thresholds of BreatheWay banana packages.
In fiscal year 2008, the Company expanded the use of its BreatheWay technology to include avocados and mangos under an expanded licensing agreement with Chiquita. Commercial sales of avocados packaged in Landecâ€™s BreatheWay packaging into the food service industry began late in fiscal year 2008 and commercial retail sales began in fiscal 2010.
In June 2008, Apio entered into a collaboration agreement with Seminis Vegetable Seeds, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Monsanto, to develop novel broccoli and cauliflower products for the exclusive sale by Apio in the North American market. These novel products will be packaged in Landecâ€™s proprietary BreatheWay packaging and will be sold to retail grocery chains, club stores and the food service industry. Field trials for the initial target varieties began in the Fall of 2008. Consumer test marketing began in April 2011.
In June 2010, Apio entered into an exclusive license agreement with Windset for Windset to utilize Landecâ€™s proprietary breathable packaging to extend the shelf life of greenhouse grown cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes.
On February 15, 2011, Apio entered into a share purchase agreement (the â€śPurchase Agreementâ€ť) with Windset Holdings 2010 Ltd., a Canadian corporation (â€śWindsetâ€ť). Pursuant to the Purchase Agreement, Apio purchased 150,000 senior preferred shares for $15 million and 201 common shares for $201 (the â€śPurchased Sharesâ€ť). The Companyâ€™s common shares represent a 20.1% interest in Windset. The non-voting senior preferred shares yield a cash dividend of 7.5% annually. The dividend is payable within 90 days of each anniversary of the execution of the Purchase Agreement. The Purchase Agreement includes a put and call option, which can be exercised on the sixth anniversary of the Purchase Agreement whereby Apio can exercise the put to sell its Purchased Shares to Windset, or Windset can exercise the call to purchase the Purchased Shares from Apio, in either case, at a price equal to 20.1% of the appreciation in the fair market value of Windset from the date of the Companyâ€™s investment through the put/call date, plus the purchase price of the Purchased Shares. Under the terms of the arrangement with Windset, the Company is entitled to designate one of five members on the Board of Directors of Windset.
Food Export Business
Food Export revenues consist of revenues generated from the purchase and sale of primarily whole commodity fruit and vegetable products to Asia through Apioâ€™s export company, Cal-Ex. The Food Export business is a buy/sell business that realizes a commission-based margin on average in the 5-8% range.
Hyaluronan-based Biomaterials Business
Our HA-based Biomaterials business, operated through our Lifecore subsidiary, was acquired by Landec on April 30, 2010.
Lifecore uses its fermentation process and aseptic formulation and filling expertise to be a leader in the development of hyaluronan-based products for multiple applications and to take advantage of non-hyaluronan device and drug opportunities which leverage its expertise in manufacturing and aseptic syringe filling capabilities. Elements of Lifecoreâ€™s strategy include the following:
â—Ź Establish strategic relationships with market leaders. Lifecore develops applications for products with partners who have strong marketing, sales and distribution capabilities to end-user markets. Through its strong reputation and history of providing premium HA products, Lifecore has been able to establish long-term relationships with the market leading companies such as Alcon, Inc. (Alcon) and Abbott Medical Optics (Abbott) in ophthalmology, and Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF) and Novartis AG in orthopedics.
â—Ź Expand medical applications for hyaluronan . Due to the growing knowledge of the unique characteristics of hyaluronan and the role it plays in normal physiology, Lifecore continues to identify and pursue further uses for hyaluronan in other medical applications, such as wound care, aesthetic surgery, adhesion prevention, drug delivery, device coatings and pharmaceuticals. Further applications may involve expanding process development activity and/or additional licensing of technology.
â—Ź License hyaluronan technology from third parties. In 2007, Lifecore entered into a world-wide exclusive license and development agreement with The Cleveland Clinic Foundation to develop and commercialize Corgel â„˘ Biohydrogel using patented hyaluronan-based cross-linking technology, that can be used for products in aesthetics, orthopedics, ophthalmology and other medical fields. Lifecore has not yet identified any potential commercial products for this technology; however Lifecore continues to investigate potential applications.
â—Ź Utilize manufacturing infrastructure to pursue contract aseptic filling and fermentation opportunities. Lifecore will continue to evaluate providing contract services for opportunities that are suited for the capital and facility investment related to aseptic filling equipment, fermentation and purification.
â—Ź Maintain flexibility in product development and supply relationships. Lifecoreâ€™s vertically integrated development and manufacturing capabilities allow it to establish a variety of relationships with global corporate partners. Lifecoreâ€™s role in these relationships extends from supplying hyaluronan raw materials to manufacturing of aseptically-packaged, finished sterile products to developing and manufacturing its own proprietary products.
Technology Licensing Businesses
The Technology and Market Opportunity: Intellicoat Seed Coatings
Following the sale of Fielderâ€™s Choice Direct (â€śFCDâ€ť), Landec Agâ€™s strategy has been to further develop our patented, functional polymer coating technology for sale and/or licensing to the seed industry. Landec Ag is currently focused on commercializing products for the soybean and seed corn market and plans to broaden the technology to other seed crop applications.
Landec's Intellicoat seed coating applications are designed to control seed germination timing, increase crop yields, reduce risks and extend crop-planting windows. These coatings are currently available on male inbred corn used for seed production. In fiscal year 2000, Landec Ag launched Pollinator Plus Ă˘ coatings, which is a coating application used by seed companies as a method for spreading pollination to increase yields and reduce risk in the production of hybrid seed corn. In 2011, Pollinator Plus was used by eight seed companies on approximately 20% of the seed corn production acres in the U.S.
Landec Ag is also working on developing seed treatment applications. The concept of seed treatments is to place an insecticide or fungicide directly onto the seed surface in order to protect the seed and the seedling as it emerges. Landecâ€™s Intellicoat seed coating technology could be an integral and proprietary part of building a significant position in seed treatments worldwide by using Landecâ€™s seed coatings as a â€ścarrierâ€ť of insecticides/fungicides which can be dispensed at the appropriate time based on time or soil temperature. During the past year, we focused on validating the use of Landecâ€™s coating technology for seed treatment applications.
The Technology and Market Opportunity: Intelimer Polymer Applications
We think our technology has commercial potential in a wide range of industrial, consumer and medical applications beyond those identified in our other segments. For example, our core patented technology, Intelimer materials, can be used to trigger release of catalysts, insecticides or fragrances just by changing the temperature of the Intelimer materials or to activate adhesives through controlled temperature change. In order to exploit these opportunities, we have, and will continue to enter into licensing and collaborative corporate agreements for product development and/or distribution in certain fields. However, given the infrequency and unpredictability of when the Company may enter into any such licensing and research and development arrangements, the Company is unable to disclose its financial expectations in advance of entering into such arrangements.
Industrial Materials and Adhesives
Landecâ€™s industrial product development strategy focuses on coatings, catalysts, resins, additives and adhesives in the polymer materials market. During the product development stage, the Company identifies corporate partners to support the ongoing development and testing of these products, with the ultimate goal of licensing the applications at the appropriate time.
Intelimer Latent Catalyst Polymer Systems
Landec has developed latent catalysts useful in extending pot-life, extending shelf life, reducing waste and improving thermoset cure methods. Some of these latent catalysts are currently being distributed by Akzo-Nobel Chemicals B.V. through our licensing agreement with Air Products. The rights to develop and sell Landecâ€™s latent catalysts and personal care technologies were licensed to Air Products in March 2006.
Personal Care and Cosmetic Applications
Landecâ€™s personal care and cosmetic applications strategy is focused on supplying Intelimer materials to industry leaders for use in lotions and creams, as well as color cosmetics, lipsticks and hair care. The Company's partner, Air Products, is currently shipping products to Lâ€™Oreal, Mentholatum and other companies for use in lotions and creams. The rights to develop and sell Landecâ€™s polymers for personal care products were licensed to Air Products in March 2006 along with the latent catalyst rights. The Companyâ€™s Intelimer polymers are currently in over 50 personal care products worldwide.
Intelimer Drug Delivery Polymers
Landec is developing both biodegradable and non-biodegradable polymers for use in drug delivery applications targeting the use of its highly crystalline polymers and the tunable physical properties to minimize or eliminate burst, extend drug release profiles and deliver novel valuable properties to the pharma industry.
Liquidity and Capital Resources
As of February 26, 2012, the Company had cash and cash equivalents of $12.5 million, a net increase of $4.4 million from $8.1 million at May 29, 2011.
Cash Flow from Operating Activities
Landec generated $8.5 million of cash from operating activities during the nine months ended February 26, 2012 compared to generating $12.4 million from operating activities for the nine months ended February 27, 2011. The primary sources of cash from operating activities during the nine months ended February 26, 2012 were from generating $10.2 million of net income and $5.6 million in non-cash operating items, such as amortization and depreciation and stock based compensation. The sources of cash from operations were partially offset by the $4.7 million non-cash change in the fair value of our investment in Windset and a net increase of $2.5 million in working capital, excluding the decrease in income taxes receivable, which is offset by the tax benefit from stock-based compensation. The primary changes in working capital during the nine months ended February 26, 2012 which increased working capital were (a) a $1.7 million increase in accounts receivable primarily due to a $1.8 million increase in receivables at Apio as a result of increased value added sales, (b) a $2.3 million decrease in accounts payable due to the timing of payments and (c) a $2.3 million decrease in deferred revenue associated with the Monsanto Agreement during the first six months of fiscal year 2012. Working capital decreased as a result of collecting the $4.0 million termination payment from Monsanto on November 30, 2011.
Cash Flow from Investing Activities
Net cash used in investing activities for the nine months ended February 26, 2012 was $862,000 compared to net cash used in investing activities of $31.2 million for the same period last year. The net cash provided by investing activities was from $3.0 million of net proceeds from the sale and maturities of marketable securities. Net cash used in investing activities was from the purchase of $3.9 million of property, plant and equipment primarily for the further automation of Apioâ€™s value-added processing facility and facility modifications and purchased equipment to support Lifecoreâ€™s business growth.
Cash Flow from Financing Activities
Net cash used in financing activities for the nine months ended February 26, 2012 was $3.3 million compared to net cash used in financing activities of $2.4 million for the same period last year. The net cash used in financing activities during the first nine months of fiscal year 2012 was primarily due to $3.3 million of long-term debt payments and the repurchase of $5.0 million of the Companyâ€™s outstanding Common Stock, partially offset by the tax benefit from stock-based compensation of $5.5 million.
During the nine months ended February 26, 2012, Landec purchased vegetable processing equipment to support the further automation of Apioâ€™s value added processing facility and facility modifications and purchased equipment to support Lifecoreâ€™s business growth. These expenditures represented the majority of the $3.9 million of capital expenditures.
On April 30, 2010, Lifecore entered into a $20 million Credit Agreement with Wells Fargo Bank N.A. (â€śWells Fargoâ€ť) with a five-year term that provides for equal monthly principal payments plus interest. The Credit Agreement contains certain restrictive covenants, which require Lifecore to meet certain financial tests, including minimum levels of net income, minimum quick ratio, minimum fixed coverage ratio and maximum capital expenditures. All of Lifecoreâ€™s assets have been pledged to secure the debt incurred pursuant to the Credit Agreement. Landec is the guarantor of the debt.
On May 4, 2010, the Company entered into an interest rate swap agreement that has the economic effect of modifying the variable interest obligations associated with the $20 million Credit Agreement so that the interest payable is effectively fixed at a rate of 4.24%.
Landec is not a party to any agreements with, or commitments to, any special purpose entities that would constitute material off-balance sheet financing other than the operating lease commitments.
Landecâ€™s future capital requirements will depend on numerous factors, including the progress of its research and development programs; the continued development of marketing, sales and distribution capabilities; the ability of Landec to establish and maintain new collaborative and licensing arrangements; any decision to pursue additional acquisition opportunities; weather conditions that can affect the supply and price of produce, the timing and amount, if any, of payments received under licensing and research and development agreements; the costs involved in preparing, filing, prosecuting, defending and enforcing intellectual property rights; the ability to comply with regulatory requirements; the emergence of competitive technology and market forces; the effectiveness of product commercialization activities and arrangements; and other factors. If Landecâ€™s currently available funds, together with the internally generated cash flow from operations are not sufficient to satisfy its capital needs, Landec would be required to seek additional funding through other arrangements with collaborative partners, additional bank borrowings and public or private sales of its securities. There can be no assurance that additional funds, if required, will be available to Landec on favorable terms, if at all.
Gary T. Steele
Good afternoon and thanks for joining us in this special conference call to discuss Landec's acquisition of GreenLine Foods. I have with me today Greg Skinner, our Chief Financial Officer and Ron Midyett, the CEO of Apio.
During todayâ€™s call, we may make forward-looking statements that involve certain risk and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. These risks are outlined in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company's Form 10-K for fiscal year 2011.
This morning, we announced the acquisition of GreenLine Foods from The Riverside Company, a global private equity firm. We are very excited about the acquisition of GreenLine, as it is a very good fit with our Apio value-added fresh-cut vegetable business. We see significant operational synergies from this acquisition.
GreenLine is the largest provider of fresh-trimmed, microwaveable packaged green beans in North America, and manages the process from the field through its online, on time delivery to customers. From its original product focus on fresh-trimmed, microwaveable green beans, the Company has added new product items including wax beans, bean blends, sugar snap peas and French green beans.
When GreenLineâ€™s specialty packaged beans reaches consumers, they are already trimmed and ready to cook, ensuring quick preparation, consistent quality and easy storage. GreenLineâ€™s primary production facilities are located in Bowling Green, Ohio and Hanover, Pennsylvania. Additional production facilities are located in Vero Beach, Florida and Pico Rivera, California with distribution centers in New York and South Carolina.
The addition of GreenLineâ€™s significant footprint on the East Coast and dedicated fleet of privately operated trucks is a strong complement to Apioâ€™s California base of operations. With this investment, we now have two leading brands, Eat Smart and GreenLine in the fresh-cut produce market. Additionally, we have significantly expanded our distribution in retail grocery chains, added new food service customers and acquired strategic East Coast processing and distribution facilities.
With the GreenLine acquisition, Landecâ€™s Apio food business will now have products in approximately 80% of North American retail grocery store sites. These new capabilities will allow Apio to offer enhanced services to our customers with a broader range of products, all with a continued commitment to product quality and food service.
U.S. consumer demand is growing for fresh-cut vegetables including green beans as consumers seek fresh healthy foods conveniently prepared. GreenLine is well positioned to support this growing market with strong sourcing capabilities and a national distribution network to ensure year-round supply of high quality product to its customers. Over time, this expanded distribution will provide greater placement potential for new products and will enable our Apio food business to take advantage of the growth in the fresh-cut green bean category as consumer demand continues to shift away from the purchase of unwashed and untrimmed bulk green beans.
This acquisition is immediately accretive and provides our Apio food business with critical mass to better serve both existing and new customers.
For Landec fiscal year beginning May 28, 2012 GreenLineâ€™s revenue is estimated at approximately $95 million to $100 million annually and EBITDA is estimated to be between $10 million to a $11 million. In addition, we see operational and customer synergies that can be realized in the next 12 to 24 months.
The acquisition of GreenLine is consistent with our strategy of investing in our two core businesses, our food business and our biomedical materials business. We seek accretive investments that builds on our material science technology, as demonstrated by our Lifecore acquisition in 2010. We also seek to strengthen our channels of distribution to provide greater penetration of our products and markets we serve as demonstrated by our investment and Windset Farms in 2011 and now by our acquisition of GreenLine Foods in 2012.
Our continued focus is on profitably building and growing our core food and biomedical businesses, while periodically and selectively collaborating with key partners under technology licensing arrangements in areas outside of our core businesses.
Now some financial details. We acquired the stock of GreenLine for $63 million in cash with no assumed debt. The agreement also includes future earnout potential for Riverside of up to $7 million based on GreenLine achieving certain financial targets during calendar year 2012. In conjunction with the acquisition, Apio secured $31.8 million in term financing secured by Apioâ€™s and GreenLineâ€™s fixed assets.
In addition, Apio entered into a five year $25 million working capital line with an interest rate of LIBOR plus 2% based on the combination of Apio and GreenLine accounts receivable and eligible inventory balances.
The term debt is comprised of a $12.7 million equipment loan, which matures in seven years with a fixed interest rate of 4.37% and a $19.1 million real estate loan that matures in 10 years with a fixed interest rate of 4.02%. Both the term financing and the working capital lines are being financed by GE Capital.
For fiscal year 2012 ending May 27, 2012 Landec will record approximately $800,000 of acquisition related expenses. In addition, the company will record approximately $1 million of loan origination fees, which will be amortized over approximately seven years. The company is forecasting that GreenLineâ€™s operating results for the period from the close of the acquisition to the end of our current fiscal year ending May 27th, will offset a majority of the acquisition related expenses.
For fiscal year 2012, the year weâ€™re in, as result of including GreenLineâ€™s operating results for the last five weeks of this year, we are increasing our revenue guidance and maintaining our net income guidance. For fiscal year 2012, we now expect revenues to grow more than 10% compared to our previous guidance for revenues to grow 9%. And we are maintaining our guidance for net income to grow approximately 40% year-over-year compared to fiscal year 2011, after adding back the one-time impairment charge of $4.8 million to net income for last yearâ€™s fiscal year. What is this acquisition all about? Well, as we stated for some time now our focus has been growing and expanding our two core businesses. Where we can directly call on customers and where we are in control of our own destiny.
Over the past 24 months, we have expanded our biomedical materials business at Lifecore and add new capabilities in fermentation processing and filling operations and weâ€™re now better utilizing our 112,000 square feet of plant capacity at Lifecore, as we add new products and customers.
Lifecore is generating gross margins of 50% or more with EBITDA margins of roughly 30%. At our Apio Food business, we are the market leader and specially package fresh-cut vegetables and now with GreenLine we have access to approximately 80% of retailers in North America with the broader product line and with processing shipping locations now on both the East and West Coast nearly population centers.
GreenLineâ€™s customer base and Apioâ€™s customer base fits extremely well. We aim to make buying our products easy for retail grocery chains and club stores. First with one-stop shopping for high quality specially package fresh-cut vegetable products and secondly with outstanding customer service and shipping logistics.
In addition, GreenLine put us into the food arena for the first time in a meaningful way. Apio and GreenLine will be combined into one fully integrated entity thus providing substantial synergies and operations in customer base over the next one to two years.
GreenLine as a great brand excellent grow our partners and a strong customer base and experience management team. We plan to build on their foundation. Our food business strategy now has three strong legs to stand on with Apio, GreenLine foods, and our investment in Windset Farms.
The acquisition of GreenLine serve to advance Apioâ€™s already strong market momentum as demonstrated by Apioâ€™s 19% unit volume growth over the last nine months compare to the overall fresh-cut produce industry category growth of 6.2%.
Apioâ€™s unit volume growth in market share along with that GreenLine will continue to benefit from Apioâ€™s focus on advancing and improving is competitive advantages and packaging technology, product line breath and quality, customer service and shipping logistics for on time delivery.
As stated, earlier this acquisition is highly accretive; we look forward to updating you on the integration of GreenLine as it progresses. Our focus remains on growing revenues and profitably generating cash flow to take advantage of further investment opportunities down the road.
We are now ready for the questions.